Wednesday, May 7, 2008

YSS Meeting - Reach Out and Read and Graphic Novelis Gareth Hinds

YSS Annual Meeting

1. Chair's Report
a)Review and accept March 10, 2008 minutes
b)Vote new officers
c)Outgoing chair report
d)Incoming chair report
2. Reach Out and Read/Library Initiative
Gretchen Hunsberger
3. Keynote Speaker
Graphic Novel Illustrator: Gareth Hinds
4. Raffle Basket

The YSS meeting began following the agenda, but approving the minutes from last month's meeting as well as voting in the new officers.

Announcements were made about upcoming events, as well as new ideas and plans for the future. They announced a plan to begin a Massachusetts Teen Book Award along the same lines as the Rhode Island Teen Book Award.

Sue Ellen Szymanski will be the new chair. The new chair speaks for a bit about some of the things going on at the moment with YSS. Ms. Szymanski spoke about how has YSS has revitalized the people who have participated. It's helped create leaders and help develop problem-solving and technical skills. What YSS is aimed at right now is thinking about the future and how children's librarians can be a big part of the future. She discussed the fact that children's circulation and program attendance is up around 40% around the country. YSS is devoted to mentoring and discovering everything we can about our users and and us being indispensable to all of our users. We need to pay attention to the ways users are using the library that we might not have thought about or would not have expected. She encourages everyone to become a member of the group and help and let YSS help us.

Gretchen Hunsberger from Reach Out and Read speaks next. Reach Out and Read brings new books to children who come into well-child checkups and also to give parents advice as how to find books, read to and connect with their children. It's about having good books available in waiting rooms, having information about local story hours and reading events. Reach Out and Read began at Boston Medical Center (then Boston City Hospital) in 1989 and is now spread across the 50 states and beyond. Both Presidents Clinton and Bush have been big supporters of Reach Out and Read helping with funding. There are now 212 programs in Massachusetts. 165,000 children are reached by Reach Out and Read in Massachusetts. Doctors not only give books to the babies and children so they can experience books, but also to check for skills and development levels (can the baby bite the book, grab the book, etc?)

Ms. Hunsberger shows a ABC Nightly News segment about Reach Out and Read.

This year Reach Out and Read is interested in getting together with the library. Ms. Hunsberger presented the two books they sent out to introduce the library Curious George Visits the Library and Lola the the Library by Anna McQuinn and Rosalind Beardshaw. She has asked health care providers to contact their local children's librarian and is challenging librarians to get in touch with participating health care providers.

In the question and answer session, Ms. Hunsberger explains that books are available in multiple languages which is beneficial for children as well as parents who are learning English. In answering another question, she stated that Reach Out and Read is always looking for volunteers and that librarians should spread the word and get in touch with her if interested.

She then poses some questions to the librarians in the room, wanting to know what our awareness of the minority or low-income families in their communities. Audience members discuss their work with immigrant families and how helpful it has been to have multilingual librarians and staff members in the library who can run bilingual story hours and programs.

Gareth Hinds, illustrator of graphic novels

What he does: Adapts classic literature (like King Lear, Beowulf and Merchant of Venice) into beautifully illustrated graphic novels.

Gareth Hinds in the Beginning:
Mr. Hinds' mother bound his pictures into books from a very young age. He never liked the writing part of making stories, but liked drawing the pictures. His parents were supportive and helped increase his love of drawing. In high school he began to draw actual comics, though lost interest in them quickly, as most teenagers do... In college (Parsons School of Design), he assumed he would focus on magazine and book covers and editorial cartoons. In college Mr. Hinds also began creating longer, full-length comics and found he enjoyed working with fairy tales. It was suggested that he look at more popular texts and that is when he took on Beowulf.

When Mr. Hinds was self-publishing, he supplemented his income as a video game creator. He thinks that video games are a good way to get children interested in art. When working on video games, he would work with the designers and help figure out how the games should look and what the characters and creatures in each game should look like.

Gareth Hinds in the Future:
Mr. Hinds (shows off his new tablet) and shows some of the work in progress. With the tablet he can draw directly into the layout program on the computer. He also shows some of the finished pages, which will be water color and pencil.

Where will Graphic Novels go? Mr. Hinds believes that graphic novels will continue to gain popularity. The surge in popularity is brought on by the current variety of different styles and content of graphic novels. With new technology, the graphic novel industry will be easier to create.

About the Books:
To keep himself interested, Mr. Hinds states that he changes the format and style of each book that he works on. He also announces that the illustrations for Merchant of Venice were actually drawn in Venice (which elicits quite an envious sigh from the audience).
Beowulf is split into three sections, each using a different style of art. The first was computer-illustrated, second paintings done on wood and the third desired to look stony. All three styles were meant to look like old style art.
King Lear is aimed at an older audience and has won a 2007 Booklist Graphic Novel of the Year award.

Mr. Hinds has worked on number of anthologies as well.

Mr. Hinds does author visits to middle and high school and sometimes colleges. Sometimes he is contacted by the English departments and sometimes by the Art departments.

When asked what Graphic Novels Illustrators he admires, Mr. Hinds referenced Brian Talbot, Art Spiegelman, Sarah Varon, Rich Tommaso, Rogue Trooper, Paul Pope...
-Sarah C.

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